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Cycling Extreme Kuantan
As cycling adventurers in constant search for nature’s treasures, we hit the roads of Kuantan, the state capital of the largest state in Peninsular Malaysia—Pahang. Pedaling through the fast-growing scenarios of its urban heart, we reached places where urbanity meets the natural world.
With fresh strength coming from the noble rain forest covering about two-thirds of the state, the multicultural town of Kuantan is booming in its green metropolitan atmosphere with sights of modern high-rise buildings blending well with old colonial houses.
To go where waves break against the wind was the first item checked off of our bucket list. After a warm exchange of greetings, with sunlight already spreading out in all directions, we began spinning our wheels from Cathayana Hotel and headed to 1. Teluk Cempedak.
Keeping our side of the lane, as cars passed by us, we observed safety in traffic, making turns watchfully. The sun was making its presence felt by the minute through dry heat touching our faces, and beads of sweat forming on our foreheads, only to be soothed by the country breeze. Thanks to the generous sight of cow grass greenery within the confines of the well-known Royal Pahang Golf Club, it gave us good company on the way.
As we were closer to the beach, the road went steeper, and descended just when we were almost out of breath. The salt-tinged air began filling up our lungs, with the coastline peeking at us from a short distance.
Clocking in a breezy 6.40km ride, we hopped off our saddles, and our eyes seized by the beautiful crashing waves of the South China Sea, inviting us to beat the heat, surfing. While it was very tempting to give in to the waves, other beachfront goings-on kept our eyes busy. One family was enjoying a picnic on the soft sand, and one child was tugging at his kite set flying high. Other ways to ride the wave right include jet skiing and sailing. If your love for beach is tantamount to your love for food, there is a chain of restaurants and food stalls serving local and western dishes to suit your taste. Nightcrawlers, do not fret! This stretch comes alive at night, too!
Taman Teruntum Mini Zoo
After bathing in the sun, strolling around, we hopped back on our bicycles and continued to cycle to our next destination, 2. Taman Teruntum Mini Zoo. To speak of the love of nature that is real and innocent, we took our curious wheels to visit this recreational park and zoo to have a look at its range of wildlife such as ostrich, white cattle and deer in their enclosures. This zoo opens daily from 9am to 6pm, and on Saturdays, there is a mascot show that starts at 7pm.
Esplanade Tanjung Api
Fifteen minutes was all it took to tour around the zoo. From here, we cycled to another park nearby called 3. Taman Gelora for 3km. Welcomed by shade trees, we took a short break from the ride to just take in the ocean breeze. Walking around, taking your time to really see what nature has to offer is probably what you need for a new day motivation. Coming out of this park, we took this reflection further to the neighboring 4. Esplanade Tanjung Api. You may choose to walk straight from Taman Gelora to get here.
Imagine a sundown over this esplanade. We walked to a wooden walkway to take us closer to the open sea, and another wooden path that brought us nearer to the fishermen’s boats. We exchanged smiles with the fishermen, who allowed us to take pictures of their boats.
Seeing the fishermen eat their hearty seafood lunch, hunger took over, so we kept cycling, passing through a fishing village, until we arrived at 5. MABIQ Restaurant to explore the taste of Pahang. The blend of spices in their version of Gulai Patin Tempoyak and Pais Patin Tempoyak came out savory and is definitely worth trying again and again. Then, there’s the Gulai Lemak Daging Salai. Watch out for those who have not trained their tongues yet to tolerate spicy food! But sure, the combination of smoked meat and coconut milk can never go wrong.
Tenun Pahang Diraja
With tummies filled to satisfaction, not to mention weighty, we hopped back on our saddles and cycled around 8km, to reach 6. Tenun Pahang Diraja, produced by Realistic Attraction Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pahang State Development Corporation.
As we entered the museum built in 1997, we were greeted by a teeming collection of high-fashion Muslim dresses. Coming in amazing fabric designs with intricate details, each piece was craftily placed in the gallery, telling a story of its own. The fabrics used for production are all Pahang hand-woven, and are used to make traditional attire, home furnishings and other accessories. Not only we were able to feel the quality and luxury of each fabric with our hands, but also we were able to witness how the weaving process is done. You would never look at a hand-woven dress the same way again. At least, you would look at it with better appreciation of the craft. One day (8am - 5pm), one meter (woven fabric). Now that dress is not made out of magic!
Pahang Art Museum
Still in awe, we continued our trip back to the town core, under the rain, to the 7. Muzium Seni Pahang (Pahang Art Museum). Located in the heart of Kuantan, this was established to heighten art appreciation through works of renowned artists. The art collection “Siri Rasa Bertuhan or The Feeling of God”, a creative celebration of the 99 names of Allah, consisting of 101 artworks (‘Allah’ and ‘Bismillah’ included) of a contemporary Malaysian artist Mohd Noor Mahmud, commonly known as Mat Nor, was exhibited during our time of visit. It was a five-year project that showed his signature style of using sawdust, glue and acrylic on canvas. And we could not help but take pictures of each work that gives off a different character of its own!
Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque
After appreciating the arts of the Islamic world, we cycled to our last stop at the nearby 8. Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque, the largest in the state, and was said to accommodate 8,000 people inside, before we headed back to Cathayan Hotel.
This 40.56km cycling adventure may be packed of roadworthy wisdom for all cycle touring enthusiasts, but more than the roads travelled and the miles endured, this taught us that by getting back to basics, pedaling and stripped of urbanity, we allow ourselves to take our curiosity and appreciation to full discovery.
Cycling Route - Cycling Extreme Kuantan
This cycling tour package is provided by: TDK Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd
B16, 1st floor, Lorong Tun Ismail 11, Sri Dagangan 2, 25000 Kuantan. Tel: 09-513 4466